Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sticking to it and don't look back

Sticking to it and don't look back: In this new year most of us make resolutions. We either make them and don’t
keep them or make them and keep them. This year Caron and I wanted to make
a resolution we would stick with and

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How Do You Set Boundaries?

How Do You Set Boundaries?: Two Blooms had an amazing rest over the holidays but deep down I knew my
blog was waiting. As hard as it was to not keep writing, Caron

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How I survived the Christmas madness

How I survived the Christmas madness

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I hate to admit it but I’ve gotten caught up in the busyness of the season. My sister and I are entrepreneurs after all and it’s very hard to take a breather and slow down. We’ve written about this topic before here,  here,  here, and here but every time we go through it, it seems to feel different.
This week-end we are doing a very merry Etsy Pop Up Market (my sister is the Victoria Etsy lead). Today is the first day and we are here for 2 more days right in the core of downtown. We are at 547 Johnson Street Dec 18th-20th. The hours are Saturday 11-6pm and Sunday 11-5pm. If you are local pop by and say hi, we’d love to see you.
This time of year there is always something pulling at us or begging for our attention. It’s like that all year long but leading up to Christmas it’s especially busy with last minute orders, wholesale accounts, managing 3 online stores and doing local markets 6 months a year. This 3 day week-end is our last venue and we are longing for a day of rest. My sister and I joke that a vacation for us is a day at Costco which is a mere 25 minutes away. It’s really not a joke because that often is a real treat and holiday for us. So yes we’ve been caught up in the back backing stress leading up the holidays. There is always one more order to fill or one more errand to run and while we are extremely grateful we are longing to slow down just a little bit to recharge and renew our minds.

Tonight while walking to get a cup of tea I marveled in the beauty of the Christmas lights in the city. For a few moments I let myself get caught up in that moment and a smile crept across my heart and I felt happy to be right where I was and in a city I’ve grown to love.
My advice for this crazy season is to enjoy every moment and appreciate those around you and the beauty that is everywhere.  In fact the other day I walked outside and saw a tiny little daisy coming up from the grass. 

It was delicate and pretty and....continue here.
Hi, I'm Michelle the artist, visionary, creator and designer of Two Blooms Design Studio. I moved from a big city to Vancouver Island and fell in love with the west coast. My world is surrounded by beautiful scents, on trend design and endless possibilities.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Christmas Tradition

Photo Credit:

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 In this ‘instant’ society of North America, we tend to want everything now and do not like to wait.  Some things though can only truly be savoured if we only taste them once a year.

‘Impossible” you say, “why wait?  Bake them now”!  But that is the secret to ‘Italian Crostoli’ they taste best when eaten only at Christmas.

My great grandparents brought their Crostoli recipe from Italy.  Europe seems to have many versions of Crostoli pastries, each with a different name.  In the U.S. they are called ‘Angel Wings’. My great aunts called them ‘Nothings’ because they melted in your mouth and you had to have another one.

My grandmother used to bake them just before Christmas and I could hardly wait. I would sit on the kitchen chair quietly watching for the stage where she dropped them in hot oil and I knew she would give me the first one as soon as she sprinkled them with icing sugar.

In our household our baking of Cristoli takes on the air of a t.v. show starting with all the ingredients laid out ready to assemble.  It is a team effort with one person measuring, the other getting the oil hot for frying and another sifting the icing sugar.

Of course ‘Rosemary Clooney’ singing “Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano” in the background is a must, after all this is Italian pastry.  Follow along, get out your favorite Italian song, tie on your apron and join the once a year Crostoli bake.

Ingredients (makes 2 dozen)
  • 2 cups of flour (all purpose, sifted)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons  vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Beat eggs and sugar and vanilla with electric beater until light and fluffy.  Gradually add dry ingredients with lemon zest into the mixture by hand until dough becomes a ball.  Turn dough out on board and knead adding extra flour as needed until it is no longer sticky.  Let rest in plastic zip lock bag for one hour.

Separate dough into four sections. Roll out on wooden floured board with a rolling pin until 1/8 inch thick.  Cut into 5 inch x 1/8 inch strip with pizza wheel.  Make a lengthwise slit about 1 inch long in center of each strip.  Pull one end twistedthrough the slit.  Keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap.
Drop 3 or 4 at a time into hot  vegetable oil in large saucepan a depth of 4 inches. Turn once until just starting to brown.  They will continue to brown slightly after removal from oil.  Drain on paper towels and gently sprinkle with icing sugar.  Keep in air tight container.    Hide them somewhere until Christmas.
What is your favourite Christmas recipe?
See us on the flip side here.

Caron is one of the blooms of Two Blooms Design Studio Est. 2002. She is the dreamer, production manager, self taught chef and the social media wannabe. Caron is married to the word adventure and she will never stop dreaming.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Tis the season for purses

Bike purse with vintage blue/white check lining

Tis the season for purses

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The perfect small bag just couldn’t be found, I didn’t want a plastic one that would eventually crinkle and crack.   Nor did it make sense to buy one factory made that everyone else had.  And my phone is old and clunky so the slim ones I did find were too small.  And there had to be room for my keys, which again tend to be rather big and clunky.  But the bag couldn’t be too big either, hanging out like a big diaper advertising clunky phones and bunchy keys.

The search was on but I couldn’t find what I wanted.  So I made my own finding a canvas that was sturdy but not stiff and the lining couldn’t just be anything common, nope had to be vintage.  Personalize it with a pattern on the front and it was good to go.  But then whenever I pulled mine out someone would say “oh I want one of those”, so the madness began and I started sewing them up by the dozens.

VW Purse with blue/check vintage lining

On a recent business trip to Toronto I stumbled upon a store selling beautiful zippers, so I bought 50 of them in every different colour and size ranging from 2” – 10” and brought them home.  No two purses are ever alike because the zippers are all different sizes and colours make these for a delightful gift for yourself or anyone else on your list.  Imagine filling one of these purses with our lip balms for the perfect Secret Santa gift?  Or fill one up with chocolates and who wouldn’t love that?  Someone bought a purse today and said she was going to fill it with tea bags and take it with her when she travelled.  Someone else bought a purse to start collecting money to treat herself to special coffees.

What could you use your purse for?  What would you fill it with?  And the price?  $18 or $23 w/ a lip balm – win/win for both you the gift giver and the receiver.

See our full collection of purses.

Stay up to date with the Two blooms.

Caron is one of the blooms of Two Blooms Design Studio Est. 2002. She is the dreamer, production manager, self taught chef and the social media wannabe. Caron is married to the word adventure and she will never stop dreaming.